Every broker I speak to is feeling the pinch at the moment, the market conditions have put a lot of pressure on intermediaries and this demands a shift in thinking for you.
Let’s start by looking at a cold hard fact – there are over 8,000,000 households with a mortgage against the property, according to government statistics from 2007. This makes the remortgage market alone immense.
This is an interesting number to dwell upon. Just because you are having some difficulties placing business right now, do you think that by taking the right actions, you can win more business from this huge pool of potential customers?
Even if the lenders are operating dual pricing and competing directly with you on many products, the way that you respond under pressure to running your brokerage will determine your success. If you have managed to place mortgages during the last month, do you think that there are more people in this vast pool of 8 million who would also place a mortgage through you?
It is too easy to sit back and complain about all the problems. How many hours up and down the country are lost every day to worry and complaining about something you cannot control – the behaviour of the lenders? It’s the same in every economic downturn – most people in business sit worrying about the things they can’t change and never stop to think about what they CAN do.
What CAN you do to help your mortgage sales?
Sitting feeling helpless at the state of the economy and blaming the government, the banks or the US economy is not going to make mortgage sales. There are brokers right now who are making sales – so what things can you directly influence to help yourself right now?
The first thing you can do is to stop wasting time thinking about all the things that are against you. It doesn’t help at all and it doesn’t change anything in your favour. Start by deciding that you will not be a victim of this downturn, but that you will ride through it to victory. Certainly there will be brokers who go under as a result of this market, but by staying sharp you can be ready to pick up more business when equity comes back into the market.
Now think about how you spend your time each day – how productive, in terms of creating opportunities and writing business, are you every day? If you find that you are spending all of your time doing administrative tasks or chatting to industry chums, even though you are not doing much business, get honest with yourself. Recognise that you are filling in time that could be spent selling instead.
Next, get financial control by putting in place a solid cash flow forecast. This is crucial during a tight economy because it helps you to understand exactly how well or badly you are doing. It also gives you an accurate forecast of how you will be doing every week for a few months ahead. If you don’t want my help to do it, get your accountant to help you – this is so important, because money is the language of business and if you don’t know how money is flowing through your business, you don’t speak it’s language!
Now you have financial control, look at the business you have written in the last month, figure out where this business has come from and who is buying. Get this right and you will know who the good customers are – whether this is residential remortgages, buy to let remortgages, property investors snapping up bargain deals or whatever. Armed with the knowledge of who your best customers are, you can spend some time to figure out where to find more of them from that pool of 8 million. You will find more of them wherever your last sales came from – whether it be via introductory letters, a referral system or advertising.
Learn how to get access to them and you can get more new, placeable business in through the door. And if you have been poor at selling general insurances and life, give your attention to these areas as well. Anybody taking out a mortgage right now will be far more open to mortgage payment protection than they would have been before, thanks to the economic downturn. Take advantage of this situation by helping them – offer them protection, give them the peace of mind that so many need right now. It helps them and it gives you a bigger sale.
In my “Mortgage Broker Survival Kit” there is a summarised 5 step action plan to protect your business and keep profitable in this tough period. Click on “Mortgage Brokers” in the menu to download yourself a copy.
Now, enough talking – go take action!